With an improved quick locking mechanism, hot shoe and contact reliability is further enhanced - a dust-wipe mechanism can remove dust and dirt stuck to the hot shoe contact, while a variable contact pressure design can improve transmission reliability by varying the pressure at the contacts, enabling the camera and flash contacts to remain firmly in touch while preventing scratches on the hot shoe, making it easier to attach and remove. The flash will also implement 2-line transmission for important signals. With the backup contacts, transmission accuracy is greatly improved. This flash also offers users a pair of independently-controlled left-and-right flash tubes, and a maximum Guide Number of 14 meter; ISO for dual sides firing simultaneously or Improved focusing lamps utilize new high-brightness white LEDs with 5-step brightness adjustment, which offers enhanced focus assist than its predecessor— making it easier to focus in low-light conditions. Equipped with new quick flash function and color temperature information transmission features, users can also press the shutter confidently at the best timing and perfectly adjust to different situations.

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These adapters are currently available in 52mm, 58mm, 67mm and 72mm sizes. A press on the button at the top of the flash unit opens four retaining fingers that are designed to drop into a grove at the end of the macro lens or Macrolite Adapter when the button is released.

The flash can be installed at and rotated to any angle desired. The front of the MREX II flash unit has 67mm filter threads useful for attaching the lens cap included or for mounting 67mm-threaded filters.

Lens hoods cannot be used with the ring lite with the MP-E 65mm Lens being an exception. The biggest visible upgrade is the x dot, green or orange-illuminated, contrast-adjustable LCD panel. The LCD panel provides an instant view of the current flash settings and provides a guide while adjusting those settings using the buttons and dial. At the bottom-right of the back of the control unit is a 3-position power switch that includes a settings-locked position.

The button and dial work together to make setting adjustments very easy. Pressing this button turns on the focus assist LED lights for 20 seconds. If 20 seconds is not enough time, simply turn them on again. The functions these buttons control are dynamically determined based on the settings being adjusted at the time. Fn Auto power off On, Off C. Fn Modeling flash 3 button options, off C.

Fn FEB sequence 2 options C. A, EXT. Fn Quickflash with continuous shot Off, On C. Fn Test firing with autoflash C. Fn Flash exposure metering setting Speedlite button and dial, Speedlite dial only C. Fn Macro: Wireless control C. Fn LCD panel illumination 12 sec. Fn Focusing lamp brightness 5 levels P. Fn LCD panel display contrast 5 levels P. Ratio Pressing the Ratio button toggles through the available ratio options. The two flash tubes operate as separate flash units that are individually controllable.

When the flash unit is installed with the release button upward, the camera-left flash tube is "A" and the camera-right tube is "B".

The built-in flash units remain group A and B-designated, but additional slave flashes can be included in the same groups or as part of the C group typically background flashes. The Canon optical wireless system requires line-of sight, though indoor use can support non-line-of-site remote flashes if the light bounces off objects in the room sufficiently to communicate with the remote flashes. The transmission range for wireless communication is approximately 9. A memory menu option allows a configuration to be stored for future use.

Normal flash full recycle time ranges from 0. New for the MREX II is a quick flash function that allows the flash to fire before the capacitor is completely charged. The quick flash recycle time range is 0. That is a very wide estimate range, but the amount of flash output used for each shot makes a big difference. Using just the CP-E4 for power, normal flash recycle times range from 0. The flash-per-charge rating jumps to at least full power flashes up from The flash-per-charge rating jumps to at least full power flashes when using both power sources simultaneously.

Why Use a Flash for Macro Photography Because macro focus distances are typically short, a narrow aperture is often desired to gain enough depth of field to keep the subject sharp. A long exposure means getting sharp images from a handheld camera or with a moving subject becomes challenging. While using a tripod may be the ideal way to capture sharp macro images even when used with a flash , tripod use is not always practical an insect may not wait for you to set up a tripod or desired.

Also, a tripod does not help stop subject motion blowing leaves, moving insects, etc. Another benefit that a tripod does not provide is lighting improvement over ambient light and the close proximity to a macro subject may mean that the lens blocks some of the available light. The available light source may also not have the quality spectrum, size you want.

A flash provides high quality, full-spectrum light that brings out the richness of the colors in your subject. When the flash is used as the main light source, both subject and camera motion unless extremely fast is frozen due to the very short duration of the flash. Select a flash for macro photography to get high quality light and sharp images. Why Use a Macro Ring Lite Flash While a non-macro-specific flash can provide the benefits just mentioned, a macro flash offers the ultimate in macro lighting portability and light placement into tight spaces.

A macro flash places the light source as close or closer than possible with other off-camera flash setups, allowing light to reach into the tightest spaces to light up nooks and crannies right in front of the lens.

When the lens is in the position the lights need to be in, the Macro Ring Lite is the answer. As focus distance decreases, there is less room to incorporate lighting into your scene.

As macro focus distances come into use, lighting the composition often becomes a problem and the lens itself begins to shade the subject and your own body may also increase that shading.

Eliminating Shadows A macro flash, due to shape and position of the flash heads, does a great job at eliminating shadows. In general photography, a large light source such as a softbox or a cloudy sky relative to the subject size is desired when shadows are to be softened or practically eliminated. Large light sources reduce shadows and create soft lighting on a subject.

Moving the light source closer to the subject makes that light source larger from a photography perspective. The sun is a massive light source, but because it is so far away, direct sunlight is photographically harsh.

The ring lite flash tubes are small, but they overcome harsh lighting effects in two ways. Does your subject have a raised center subject that you need to light around? Insects and flowers are two such examples. A ring lite can encircle these and similar subjects with light, avoiding harsh shadows. Many flowers including the poppy have a cupped shape that is extremely hard to light from a close distance. Lighting deep inside this flower without creating strong shadows is a big challenge without a ring lite.

There are very few good methods to get light around the end of a macro lens without creating unwanted shadows deep inside this flower. This poppy image result is what I was looking for. Unlike a macro subject being lit with a softbox, a ring lite tends to provide lighting that is somewhat flat.

A ring lite is adept at eliminating shadows, but in using the light-from-all-angles approach, subtle tonations in the subject can be lost. There is plenty of color and detail in the poppy to keep me satisfied.

Also great was the ease in which this image was captured, thanks to the ring lite. By adjusting the power ratio between the two flash heads, the amount of light coming from each side can be controlled. Here is an example using a coin: The coin was stationary and the camera was tripod-mounted, but the change in lighting ratio gives the illusion of movement.

You are of course seeing shadows changing intensity and direction. The circular shadow is interesting and very ring-lite-identifying. I usually like this look.

I have to admit that I usually like shadow a showing in a single direction better than shadows showing in two directions. The following example shows the ring-flash-identifying shadows surrounding objects such as the hanging fruit. As illustrated above, the ring flash can be used as a main light for more-distant subjects.

A ring light also provides the best-available on-axis light, making it ideal for fill flash. The ring lite excels at eliminating shadows, but as just discussed, it does not always completely eliminate shadows. As also seen in the image below, subject parts can still create shadows in the photo with the MREX II used as the light source. The night is full of great macro subjects such as the large dobsonfly shown above , but photographing them can be very challenging.

A primary challenge is that subjects are hard to properly frame and focus on in the dark. I enabled the focus assist lights to be turned on using a double-half-press of the shutter release via custom function No dobson fly is safe. Another problem with capturing living creatures at any time of the day is that they frequently do not stay in one place. Moving subjects quickly complicate static lighting setups. There is no easier way to light fast-moving tiny critters.

Controlling the Background Brightness Because of the properties of light and the inverse-squared rate that light levels fall off, you are going to find that subjects not close to the main macro subject go dark or black. Here is an example: Black can be a very pleasing background and I like it a lot, but this look that can get old. To get this shot, I was shooting handheld while standing on a steep bank with the wind blowing me, the tree and the leaf the caterpillar was eating.

Because the background is a complete blur, any motion blur in the background is not noticeable. If the subject was in the same lighting as the background, I would have needed to use a motion-blur-stopping shutter speed — or use one or more slave flashes to light the background. A tripod could stop camera shake, but not subject motion such as that caused by the wind in the caterpillar situation.

Of course, if your subject fills the frame and that entire subject is a similar distance from the flash, there is no background to be concerned about. Another great no-background use for a macro ring light is flat copy reproduction for subjects with non-reflective surfaces. Here is part of a two dollar bill: I mentioned non-reflective surfaces and that leads to another macro ring lite topic that we should discuss. Ring Flash Catchlights When photographing reflective subjects, reflections must be considered.

Flash lighting will create reflections and a ring light creates a distinct reflection. While the above reflection may be entertaining and an integral part of the photo, you may find not always find ring light reflections to be beneficial. But there are many significant differences between these two macro ring lite flashes.


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